The Appalachia Service Project is familiar to residents in the Man area from past years when volunteers from across the U.S. have come to Man and stayed there while repairing homes. The group has had a busy and successful summer again in Logan County, braving high heat and humility to help others.
"We are a home repair ministry that comes in every summer," Appalachia Service Project Volunteer Coordinator Allie Waanders said. "We work on 15-20 homes each summer and we have 30 difference centers across four different states in Appalachia. We are working in other counties right now in Appalachia while we are working in Man."
Waanders is joined by Mike Parker, who is the ASP center director in Man, and fellow staffers Caffey Flannelly and Kallie Ashcraft. The team is located this year at Man High School.
"At the Man site we have four staffers who live here n the summer and we have 80 volunteers who come in each week who serve a week at a time. They come in every week from all over the U.S. This is our eighth week so we have had about 600 people come through here this summer," she said.
Volunteers find out about ASP through word of mouth.
"Our organization has been around about 41 years," she said. "We don't do a whole lot of advertising but different church groups and community groups find out about us, what we are doing and they want to help. We do have a web site- http://asphome.org/.
Appalachia Service Projects in the Man area this summer include several roof repairs, floor repairs, foundation and floor repairs and creating secondary exits as well as building porches.
"The four of us who live here all summer receive training," Allie said. "One person on our staff has been working here for two years. We have two or three who are new. Each staffer has different skills and different skill levels. They train us and we walk the volunteers step by step through the work they are doing. We get a lot of work done and make things safer and better for people."
Waanders said she volunteered in high school herself and got more involved later on.
"I had a friend who did staff for a year and I thought it was something that it helped him to grow a lot and serve people so I wanted to do the same thing," she said. "A lot of the people on staff have volunteered before, but not everyone has. "
Some volunteers express interest in coming back, she noted.
"They fall in love with the area and the people and want to come back and serve," she said. "There are not a lot of agencies that provide this kind of experience but ASP does and they love it."